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Public health management of hepatitis B virus contacts

Karin Leder
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (7): 366. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11679
Published online: 15 April 2013

To the Editor: The Auckland Statement on Viral Hepatitis, released in September 2012, called for action to prevent new hepatitis B and C infections.1 Estimates suggest that more than 200 000 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, with nearly half being unaware of their diagnosis.2,3 Childhood vaccination is crucial to HBV prevention, but many people from high-risk populations, including immigrants and refugees from endemic countries, are infected before arriving in Australia.4 Targeted screening of high-risk groups for susceptibility or undiagnosed infection is therefore also integral to public health management of HBV infection.

  • Karin Leder1,2

  • 1 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: karin.leder@monash.edu

Acknowledgements: 

This project was funded by GlaxoSmithKline. I am grateful to Dr Ben Cowie for his expert advice and review of the content of this letter.

Competing interests:

I have received travel support from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur.

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